About two weeks ago I saw Frozen 2 with some friends. Yes, I'm 24 years old and went to see a children's movie. Not ashamed. And let me tell you... this movie has so many good spiritual lessons and messages in it! One of the songs in the movie was sung my Ana after she believed she had lost all the people (and snowman) she loved and in despair she could barely move on... what got her going again though was to "do the next right thing".
You ever been there? A place of such pain and heartache that you just aren't sure what to do? So you just take the next step... and eventually, the steps get a bit less heavy. But oftentimes our next step isn't always the next right thing. Sometimes, in pain and even selfishness, we skip the steps and run straight for something that will give us temporary numbness from the pain.
I tend to want to do the latter. I have seen times in my life when I have run to something to fulfill me in that moment but then it would leave me deeper in the pits of despair than I was before. I like to run. And sometimes my running causes me to miss what God is speaking to me and trying to do in my heart and life right then and there because I am sprinting a 100 miles an hour towards the next place, the next season, the next stop where the pain feels somewhat bearable if not completely gone. And once I run out of breath, God is standing right there saying, "You done now? Ready for real healing? Because we both know you won't find it in your running."
Last year I had found myself in a situation that broke my heart, shattered my plans, and left me with so many unmet hopes and dreams, for what felt like the millionth time. My reaction this time was to apply to every opportunity that sparked my interest. Every missions internship or serving opportunity. Every job that revolved around helping others. Things that are good and a part of my calling, but only in God's perfect way and timing. I quickly learned that no matter how much I applied to things, connected with people in these different fields, etc that none of it was working out or going to work out because it was not what God had for me in that season. For me, the next right thing was surrendering to the Lord and allowing Him to heal the deep-seeded pain in my heart.
It's funny how one moment can feel like a whole year, and a whole year can feel like one moment. Perspective and pain have big roles in those different feelings. As I began to let go of my plans and just take the next step with the Lord, as I began to find my joy in the Lord again in the simple every days of life, I learned just how sweet and good the Lord is. I learned just how present God truly is in the next step as He is in the seasons ahead.
I don't know what pain you hold right now. I don't know what you are going through. But I want to encourage you that letting God behold you instead of holding on so tightly to the pain is so worth it. Taking the next step, yes, it will be hard, but after that step you take another, then another... What is the next right thing to do in your life? What is God asking you to do, urging you towards, pulling your spirit to? Do that thing. You don't have to know all the details, for the details of every moment of your life rest in the Sovereign hands of the One who makes all things work for our good. Follow Jesus, surrendering your plans and ideas to Him, knowing that loving Him and trusting Him, falling into His arms of love, is always the next right thing.
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."